When Mac OSX Leopard was released in 2007, one of the clever new features was “stacks”. These were essentially a way to quickly access a folder of files by putting it in the dock. The stacks don’t look particularly nice though, simply showing the icons of all the items in the folder stacked on top of each other, and there was no way to tell what folder the stack represented.
Not long after, a clever icon artist realized that by managing the sort order of the stack, he could cause one file’s icon to always appear at the “top” of the stack. He created a set of “drawer” icons which users could drag into their stacks, which when forced to be the front-most icon, magically make the stack look much more interesting:
You can download his full set of icons (grayscale and color versions) at http://www.geocities.jp/chy065/
If you sort your stack by “Name”, everything works right because these icon files all have a space at the beginning of their name, causing them to sort ahead of normal files.
If you sort your stack by “Date Added” or one of the other date formats, you’ll need to set the timestamp of the drawer icon to a date far in the future (the author of the icons did this three years ago, but unfortunately he only set the timestamp to October 2010, so it no longer works). To update the timestamp, open a terminal, choose which drawer to update (I’ll use “Downloads” in this example), and run:
Be sure to include a single space before and after the word “Download” in the filename, as in the example above.
And then there was Dropbox…
In 2010 I moved almost all of my day-to-day files onto Dropbox so that I could access them from any computer, iPhone, iPad, and via the web. It’s worked out fantastically well, and I’m a big fan. If you haven’t tried it out, give it a try and I’ll get extra free storage space too!
Once all my files were on Dropbox, I realized it made sense for Dropbox to be one of the main stacks on my dock, but unfortunately there was no Dropbox drawer icon, so I decided to make one. After a bit of time working inside gimp, I have a dock drawer for Dropbox (center drawer icon below):
You can download the new Dropbox drawer icon here: Dropbox Dock Drawer.zip
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